Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kernel Update Breaks VirtualBox

This morning I get a call from a customer that runs Ubuntu and XP in VirtualBox.
They said that when the tried starting VirtualBox they received an error message about the wrong driver version. They also mentioned that they recently had a kernel update.

Drat! It's pouring rain and they are almost an hour away with traffic. I really don't want to make the trip. So I get all the info from them about the error message and tell them I'll call them back in 5 minutes.

I do a quick search and find the problem and the solution.
Luckily it is a simple terminal command and takes a few minutes to run it.
I call them back, walk them through the fix and in less then 5 minutes they are back up and very happy.

Seems there is a bug in VirtualBox that causes it to not recompile the driver for the new kernel. So when you get a new kernel update, VirtualBox breaks because the driver has been compiled for the older kernel version.
Sun really needs to fix this bug and it may have been fixed by now. I believe my customer has the VirtualBox updates turned off which means they are using an older version.

So if you are usinfg VirtualBox and get a driver error after you had a kernel update here is how you fix it.

Open the terminal.
Now copy and paste or type in the following code;

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

The setup will begin to recomplie the drivers to match the kernel version.
It takes a few minutes and when it's down you will see your command pompt reappear.

That's it. A simple fix that takes a few minutes.
Hope it saves someone a hassle like it saved me.


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